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article imageCounterfeit semiconductors case draws to a close

By Tim Sandle     Jun 7, 2014 in Crime
Peter Picone, who admitted sending counterfeit semiconductors to the U.S. Naval Submarine Base in Connecticut, pleaded guilty and acknowledged the parts could have put people's lives in danger.
Having admitted his guilt to Magistrate Judge Donna Martinez, Peter Picone faces up to 46 months after pleading guilty to a single count of conspiracy to traffic in counterfeit military goods. Controlled Environments reports that sentencing is set for August 22nd in federal court in Hartford.
The Day describes that Picone, 41, through his companies, Tytronix Inc. and Epic International Electronics, sold $2.5 million worth of counterfeit semiconductors to numerous clients from February 2007 to December 2012. This included the U.S. Navy where chips were dispatched to the submarine base in Groton.
Picone imported thousands semiconductors from companies in China and Hong Kong that refurbished old ones and put counterfeit markings on them to make it appear they were made new by reputable companies including National Semiconductor Inc. and Motorola Inc.
The prosecution argued that the counterfeit semiconductor chips could contain malicious computer code or hidden "back doors" that would allow someone to disable systems, intercept communications and commit other computer network intrusions. They also say bogus chips can cause malfunctions and failures, as well as electrical shocks that can kill or injure people.
Officials with the Defense Department, Navy, and Homeland Security Department investigated Picone's case in 2012, according to Eagle Tribune. They found evidence he wired nearly $1.8 million to companies in China and Hong Kong.
In relation to this case, Digital Journal has reported on a newly finalized U.S. Department of Defense rule that reduces the risk of counterfeit semiconductor products being used by the U.S. military has been issued.
More about Counterfeit, Semiconductor, Peter Picone, Fraud
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